I have always wanted to start a blog, but 'starting' it is usually the first stumbling block. This is true with a 2' by 5' canvas behind me for a layout. I have projects and a test track on it, but nothing resembling any work of 'my' dream layout. I am really hoping mid January to start some layout planning. I do know I want to include a curved trestle bridge, a pickle plant, turntable, a couple of other types of bridges, and keep the scheme during the transition period. I have some Marklin steamers and MTL F7's that will work well together. But more on that project(s) later.
I do want to share different aspects of my modeling experience, along with maybe some ZCS website aspects. I think mixing things up will be interesting. Maybe some personal details too, so you can get to know who Soccrdad30 really is. I do not want to 'plan' blog entries, so do not expect scheduled entries.
So, with that in mind. I would like to share "My Favorite Z Project" Contest entry. My project is a gas! Okay, bad pun. I am "Kitbashing" an MTL 40' standard single door boxcar, and turning it into a Navy U.S.N.X. Helium Freight Car. What is interesting, is there were 3 container helium cars and 30 container helium cars produced. And these were in the gray paint scheme. I am working on the 30 container freight car.
In the below photo you can see the car so far. I used Plastruct channeled strip for the side supports, while cutting out the middle of the car but leaving the roofwalk. I have the containers glued together and painted in gray. I used 3/32” Plastruct tubing for the containers. And you can see some of the tools I used, including my cheap 10.00 chopper that I bought at a train show (bonus!). Slugger got me hooked on Plastruct Plastic Weld – Love it! And for Christmas 2010, I received a couple of Railway Prototype Cyclopedia’s. What is interesting is in this booklet has an article about brake wheels, but look at the Ajax April 1943 Brake Wheel ad showing a U.S.N.X. helium car. The side supports are configured differently from the research images and from commercial RTR cars. Oh well, I will stay with what I started.
Okay, here is a closer view of my contest entry. I just need to paint, create my decals, then apply the decals before inserting the containers. I know some thoughts are going on about the finer details. But, on my next one, I would like to get it more proto. This one I am happy to finish, and to be learning new modeling skills. My next photos will be of the finished helium car, and will be entered into the contest.
Welcome to Articles and Blog Scroll!
Anytime you create an Blog entry from "My Blog Dashboard" located under the "My ZCS" menu option, it will be inserted into this scroll module.
This module will 'grab' the first image in the article or blog and display it along with an active title link. In the future I plan to add more articles, blogs, and interviews from the vaults of Z Central Station.
Micro-Trains 2 Story Barracks Build by Modelersguild.com
To start this build we followed the instructions and sealed the card with dull coat. Sealing the card protects it from the acrylic pains. We painted the trims and foundation grey. When dry we cut out and glued these to the wall sections while still unassembled. Add the glazing to the backs of the walls at this time.
Put together the interior frame and foundation pieces, let set. While propping the walls in place glue the side walls to the frame and foundation.
When all is ready we added the roof panels to the building. run a small bead of glue around the tops of the walls to place this on, make sure to wipe off access glues (the excess is unmistakable in the final product).
Micro-Trains Farmers Co-op Build by Modelersguild.com
I am definitely getting better at Z-Scale. Another Micro-Trains kit, I am liking these more and more with each build. It is a nice two night-er, and I suggest, a nice sit down with the podcast, Model Rail Cast Show and enjoy the build.
The kit is wood, with some sticky back sheets.
To put the stairs together, the hardest part is getting the first bent on. I put a dab of ca on to grab it. Then followed up with some yellow glue on a toothpick. Add the steps by taking the backing off the step and sticking it to the knife blade and placing in the stringer, starting at the top step.
Painting the different parts, as you can see is a breeze. Pick your color and stick tot he parts you want painted before you even remove them from the sheet. We painted the walls tan, and the trim pieces brown. Let all the components dry completely before moving on, as we want all the pieces rigid when attaching the trim pieces.
Raising the walls one at a time, we first dabbed a wee bit of glue at the bottom of the wall to stick it in place. Add the second wall and seal the corner. Following the same procedure for each remaining wall.
To finish off the model we added the utilities boxes to the outside wall. We glued on the roof sections, leaving the sticky side up for the roofing paper.
Micro-Trains Grain Tower Build by Modelersguild.com
The grain tower kit is made by Micro-Trains. Each time I try out a MT kit I find myself dreaming of large landscapes and industry. Z scale the under represented king in Space Savings is here, and here to stay.
Assembly is straight forward, hence the instructions are pretty basic. The thing that strikes me as being missing is some elaboration on paint and weather.Before this thought finished passing I had the structure assembled. So whats the point, I dunno. I just state the facts folks...
In this article I am going to take the opportunity to focus on how I finished this model. I am not a self proclaimed expert, nor should I be considered to be. These steps are just my thoughts on the subject.
First as always it starts with a coat of inkahol. It gives a base that provides a random variation on the layers above. IF done before it dries. Then dip your brush in the water, we want the acrylic paint watered down. We dont want the brush floaded with water when it touches the model though. Dabb it off. Why you may ask. Well the dilluted paint will give you control over coverage and spread a larger area.
Remember we left the ink wet to soak through, let it. Follow coats that are deamed necesary will blend right in with the same method of watering the paint down. The difference is when the ink and first coat of paint dries, it is sealed to mixing. Coats of paint above will cover up the ink. A good way to fix a case of TOO much ink. Do this method and with light coats of paint to doctor it into shape. Let it dry.
The final step for this build was some treatments for the loading pipe. For this we used Sophisticated Finishes found at our local Michaels. This is iron filings and a corrosive the rusts the iron. Can't get much more realistic then the real thing.
With some coats of the MIG Nuetral wash to simulate dust and grime. We were ready to settle with good enough. In my opinion a model isn't finished till it is placed on the layout. Certain conditions will warrent different techniques so stopping here is a good idea, again this is only my opinion.
Micro-Trains Logging Camp Cars Build by Modelersguild.com
Working with my brother-in-law has its challenges. It doesn't always go so well, some of you know what I mean. But when he delivers with work like this. I think we might be able to do it again.
This Logging Camp Car (Dining car and Office car, also refered to as the "clerestory") was fun and fairly easy to construct. The kit seemed to be a bit challenging at some points, mainly because of the small parts and meticulous process of assembling the tiny pieces. But with a good cutting tool, some tight bond glue and a little bit of patience, this project proved to be a great way to explore the ever-so-detailed world of the Z-scale model.
A few directions from my brother I decided to refer the printed instructions. I am glad I did, Ron was right, and I never would have followed his lead, but since the instructions I agreed, I guess I would too.
This kit contains two cars, complete with trucks and couplers. All this was not immediately appearant to me. As the build moved on I did begin to learn a few things about these pieces of rolling stock.
As I built Ron provided me with pictures of the real thing. It was amazing with a bit of this information really expanded my understanding of the project at hand. The interest that grew in me completely wrapped my mind into the whole thing.
Micro-Trains Military Barracks Build by Modelersguild.com
Using a #11 blade I cut the wall sections out. Satisfied with the color of the card walls we left them unpainted (for now). For the trim and ground I used a tan and the concrete supports grey acrylic, paint the card in thin coats, card will soak in water based paints so thick coats are not advised.
Using my supply of handy dandy weights I started gluing the sections together. We first attach the end wall to the side and let the glue set a bit. Once stuck I glued the floor section on and again wait to set. This system of letting the glue set allowed me to build this delicate kit in a way as to not ruin a good connection by moving on to quickly.
Assembling the stair cases wasn't as hard as we thought it would be. Again using the glue and set technique we took the slow route at building these.The supplied steps were very easy to handle and I had little trouble here.
The sawmill has a permanent place in our hobby as an industry built in the sticks. The location of these structures usually is located far from civilization and the scenes displayed in historical records show a real rag-tag operation. The oportunity to create a busy and living scene with this model is one I cannot let pass.
Micro-Trains offers kits in Z scale. The kit is comprised of laser cut micro-plywood and card material for windows, doors and frames. This card material has two-sided tape for glazings and roofing. Even the glazing for the windows is cut with a laser.
The instructions are made like an electronics manual. I have to say they are perfect and the pictures do just enough to get you through the build. As the instructions stated, we placed the two walls and supports on the base and glued them with WeldBond glue. I use Weldbond because of its Cost, Strength, and the fact that it dries clear. Some say to use Canopy Glue, but it is twice the cost and comes in a bottle near half the size. You decide.
Next step is to prepare the equipment deck. The saws and log tables are all represented in Card. When all is said and done, this looks great. I only had an issue with "How big is a loggers log in Z scale"? That issue actually held me up longer then it really should'a.
I built this model so fast, the instructions seemed to get lost under a pile of carrier sheets. I usually build the walls complete before assembling them together. This time we just got busy with it, and this ended up with walls assembled without the windows and door installed.
The amount of interest this kit struck in me had me a bit overwhelmed, so I sat down with the instructions and finally finished them.
Here are a few shots of the equipment deck installed. This is really a striking site in person.
Whoever started this technique in kit building is a patron saint. Two-sided tape on small structure kits is the component that makes this build available to a visually imapired person like myself. A pair of tweezers and a good light and I am set.
Peel off the back of the window and place it sticky side up on the bench. Take the tweezers and break out a single glazing and place it on the window. Done deal! Repeat that for all the windows and doors and in no time everything was completed and ready to be installed.
Here is the model with the windows, doors and trim installed. I left the window sills off. One reason is I thought they looked big and reason two, I had trouble handling them. Is it absolutely neccesary ?
It is amazing how small this structure is considering the size of the prototype. So far I love the instructions, as they are simple and to the point, I could have used a prototype photo though. The kit parts are great, the laser cuts are clean and come apart easily. And the addition of the interior equipment really makes this $76 model worth every penny.
Again, bdecause of the two-sided tape, these roof panels are a breeze to complete. After gluing the panels to the structure, I peeled off the tape covering. The laser cut paper shingles are varied in sizes. My suggestion is to use the wide ones on the bottom and the narrow ones on the top.
The ramp, or slip, is made of plywood with card braces. For such small parts I have to say this was fairly easy. The braces have two-sided tape to stick right on, using the tweezers of course. I could not wait to see it next to the structure, so I took a picture of it.
Micro-Trains hit a home run with this model and I am just tickled I had a chance to build it. To be inspired by a model isn't too rare, but that don't make it any less exciting.
Stay tuned for part two.